Up to date information about children’s entertainment – film, TV, DVD and more…. from founder and president of KIDS FIRST! Ranny Levy

Archive for June, 2009

Silverdocs Announces 2009 Festival Winners

Monday, June 29th, 2009
SILVERDOCS: AFI-Discovery Channel SILVERDOCS Documentary Festival announced its distinguished award winners, culminating the weeklong Festival activities that included screening 122 films representing 58 countries, free outdoor screenings and live performances, and a five-day concurrent International Documentary Conference. The festival is on target to host over 25,000 attendees, including more than 1,000 filmmakers, film and television executives and media professionals exploring the documentary in action, with a particular emphasis on youth, education and next generation media artists. Winning filmmakers received over $70,000 in combined cash and in-kind prizes.

The Sterling Award for a US Feature goes to OCTOBER COUNTRY directed by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher, which documents the multi-generational story of a working-class family coping with poverty, teen pregnancy, foster care and the ineffable horrors of child molestation and war. The directors will receive $10,000 cash.

The Sterling Award for a World Feature goes to MUGABE AND THE WHITE AFRICAN directed by Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson, which explores, through the lens of a 74-year-old white farmer, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s deeply controversial land seizure program, which intended to re-distribute white-owned farmland. The director will receive $10,000 cash.

The Sterling Award for a Short Film was given to 12 NOTES DOWN directed by Andreas Koefoed, which documents 14-year old star choir performer, Jorgis, after his voice starts changing as he decides when and how to make an unexpected yet graceful exit from choir. The filmmaker will receive $5,000 cash.

The Music Documentary Award presented by Gibson Guitars went to RISEUP directed by Luciano Blotta. The film chronicles three Jamaican musicians as they fight for a place in the overcrowded reggae field. Gibson Guitars will present a Gibson Les Paul Studio to the winner.

The Cinematic Vision Award went to OLD PARTNER directed by Lee Chung-ryoul. The film captures the peculiar yet touching relationship between an old farmer, living in a remote South Korean village, and his 40-year old ox. The filmmaker will receive $2,500 cash and $4,000 of in-kind services from Alpha Cine.

The WITNESS Award in honor of Joey R. B. Lozano was given to GOOD FORTUNE by Landon Van Soest, which examines two multi-million dollar international aid projects in Africa that may actually be undermining the very communities they seek to help. The award is given to the strongest documentary about human rights violations or social justice issues. The filmmaker will receive $5,000 cash.

The Award Winner for the Animal Content in Entertainment (ACE) Grant went to CINEMA CHIMP by David Grabias. The feature-length documentary profiles Cheeta, “star” of film and TV, as it explores the ethical debate over using non-human primate “actors” in the entertainment industry. The director will receive a $25,000 grant.

The Feature Audience Award went to THE COVE directed by Louie Psihoyos, which follows Richard O’Barry, the man who made “Flipper” a household name, as he and his team try to stop Japanese fishermen from slaughtering dolphins for the consumer marker. Psyhoyo’s film is an indictment of human greed and arrogance, a tale of redemption and a desperate call to action.

For more information, go to SILVERDOCS.com.

Pink Panther 2 available on DVD June 23

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Inspect the unexpected when five-time Golden Globe®-nominee Steve Martin* (Father of the Bride) springs back into action as the blundering French police officer, Inspector Jacques Clouseau. Co-starring Oscar®-nominees John Cleese** (Rat Race) and Andy Garcia*** (Ocean’s Eleven), Yuki Matsuzaki (Letters From Iwo Jima), Emily Mortimer (Lars and the Real Girl) and Bollywood sensation Aishwarya Rai (The Mistress of Spices), The Pink Panther 2 is the side-splitting sequel to the worldwide hit The Pink Panther, based on the 1964 original starring the legendary Peter Sellers. After a thief known as “The Tornado” allegedly steals a variety of precious items, including France’s beloved pink panther diamond, an “international dream team” of detectives band together to crack the case. Slowing down the process is the team’s leader, Inspector Clouseau, the highly unintelligent officer who has a way of missing the obvious until he somehow stumbles onto the truth.

Synopsis: Steve Martin returns to the scene of the fun as the brilliant, bumbling Inspector

Jacques Clouseau in this side-splitting slapstick comedy for the whole family! When legendary treasures from around the world are stolen, including the priceless Pink Panther diamond, Clouseau is assigned to a dream team of international detectives who are under pressure to bring the master thief to justice before he strikes again. Co-starring Jean Reno, Alfred Molina, Andy Garcia, Lily Tomlin and John Cleese, The Pink Panther 2 will steal your heart…and keep you laughing!

This package is full of films and cartoons for the whole family, The Pink Panther 2 Blu-ray disc and two-disc DVD feature all-new bonus materials galore including a gag reel, exclusive behind-the-scenes featurettes, and more, plus bonus disc featuring 27 Pink Panther cartoons. Bonus features include:

Disc One

· Gag reel
· Drama is Easy…Comedy is Dangerous
· A Dream Team Like No Other
· Master Thief-Global Crime Showdown!
Disc Two

· Digital Copy File of The Pink Panther 2 for Portable Players

Disc Three

· Bonus disc featuring 27 Pink Panther cartoons
o The Pink Phink – 1964 Academy-Award® winner for Short Subjects, Animated Films
o Pink Pajamas
o We Give Pink Stamps
o Dial ‘P’ For Pink
o Sink Pink
o Pickled Pink
o Pinkfinger
o Shocking Pink
o Pink Ice
o The Pink Tail Fly
o Pink Panzer
o An Ounce of Pink
o Reel Pink
o Bully For Pink
o Pink Punch
o Pink Pistons
o Vitamin Pink
o The Pink Blue Print
o Pink, Plunk, Plink
o Smile Pretty, Say Pink
o Pink-A-Boo
o Genie With The Light Pink Fur
o Super Pink
o Rock A Bye Pinky
o Pinknic
o Pink Panic
o Pink Posies

Two-Disc DVD Specs:

The Pink Panther 2 DVD release features the theatrical version of the film presented in widescreen format (1.85:1) with English 5.1 Dolby Surround and Spanish and French Dolby Surround with English and Spanish subtitles. Bonus features include:

Disc One

· Gag reel

· Drama is Easy…Comedy is Dangerous

· A Dream Team Like No Other

Disc Two

· Bonus disc featuring 27 Pink Panther cartoons

o The Pink Phink – 1964 Academy-Award® winner for Short Subjects, Animated Films

o Pink Pajamas

o We Give Pink Stamps

o Dial ‘P’ For Pink

o Sink Pink

o Pickled Pink

o Pinkfinger

o Shocking Pink

o Pink Ice

o The Pink Tail Fly

o Pink Panzer

o An Ounce of Pink

o Reel Pink

o Bully For Pink

o Pink Punch

o Pink Pistons

o Vitamin Pink

o The Pink Blue Print

o Pink, Plunk, Plink

o Smile Pretty, Say Pink

o Pink-A-Boo

o Genie With The Light Pink Fur

o Super Pink

o Rock A Bye Pinky

o Pinknic

o Pink Panic

o Pink Posies

New Children’s Book Comforts Children During Relocation

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Whether moving across town or across the country, when children are faced with changing schools and leaving friends behind it’s often an emotional, if not traumatic experience. Ryan is Moving Away (published by AuthorHouse), the new, illustrated in full-color children’s book by Emi Mead, follows a little boy named Ryan as he experiences the emotions of such a move.

When Ryan’s dad informs his family at the dinner table one night that he has been offered a position on the West Coast and the family would be moving there, his good news is not met with the happiest reception. Ryan is decidedly against the move and doesn’t want to leave his school and his best friend, Jason.

But his parents have a few surprises in store that might make preparing for the move more enjoyable for Ryan, including his very first trip on an airplane and a house-hunting experience! Ryan delights in the experience of flying on a plane and visiting new homes with unfamiliar flowers and palm trees everywhere. Not wanting to admit that he has a favorite of the potential houses, Ryan holds firm to the idea that he does not want to move or leave his friends.

The next day their real estate broker, Anne, and Ryan’s parents introduce him to Anne’s son, Eric, who is about Ryan’s age and plays Little League, like Ryan. Ryan’s parents decide between the houses that they looked at and choose the one that Ryan secretly liked the most. When his parents make an offer that is accepted and they make the final preparations by packing up all their belongings in boxes, Ryan knows that he must “get used to it.”

But will California and his new life have more surprises in store for him? What will happen to those that he leaves behind? Find out in the playfully illustrated pages of Ryan is Moving Away, which is inspired by the real-life experience of a young boy moving from the Midwest to the West Coast. Sure to be loved and appreciated by those children and parents about to relocate, Ryan is Moving Away invites readers to enjoy the new experiences involved in moving to a new place and teaches an important lesson about friendship.

Emi Mead is a former real estate professional with over 25 years of experience. She learned through her own family’s relocation experiences and those of her clients that children are especially vulnerable to major life changes. She currently lives with her husband in Kansas City and works as a freelance writer and advocate for domestic violence victims. Mead has five adult children and three grandchildren.

AuthorHouse is the premier book publisher for emerging, self-published authors. For more information, please visit www.authorhouse.com.

Thoughts for Dads This Father’s Day about Their Girls

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

From Joe Kelly, The Dad Man: Why should your daughter or stepdaughter participate in sports? To be more healthy (in mind and body), feel better about herself, learn new skills, stay off alcohol and drugs, defer sexual activity, and, oh yeah, TO HAVE FUN! Sadly, some people worry that girls are too delicate, unskilled, or inadequate to play sports. To which the smart father and stepfather reply: “Baloney.” Here are some tips to help you provide the kind of support your girl needs.

1. MAKE SPORTS FUN FROM AN EARLY AGE. Keep a relaxed approach when she’s young. For example, have athletic-theme parties, like pizza and kickball.

2. DEMONSTRATE INTEREST IN HER ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES. Attend her games and other extracurricular activities. If you live away from your daughter, be sure to talk with her after every game to hear how it went.

3. GO TO THE GAMES TO CHEER. You can cheer hard for your girl, and then cheer for everyone who is playing. Every kid (and parent) should remember why they call it “playing” a “game.”

4. LEAVE COACHING TO THE COACHES. Tina Syer of the Positive Coaching Alliance says, “You’re there to fill the kids’ emotional tanks and make sure they bounce back from mistakes, not to tweak their throwing motion or tell them where to be on the field.” Be smart about choosing coaches tuned in to her age and skill level. If there’s a lack of adequate coaches, sign up to volunteer!

5. BE A MODEL FAN. Think about what you would look like on the sidelines if someone were videotaping you instead of the game. Be sure you (and your daughter) would be proud of what you’d see.

6. ASK, “WHAT DO WE EACH HOPE TO GET FROM THE EXPERIENCE?” Then tell her what you hope she gets. If you don’t talk (and listen), she may assume all you care about is a winning record or how good her stats are. Make sure she knows you want sports to be a fun way to make friends, test herself, be healthy, and feel good about herself.

7. LET HER PLAY WITH BOYS. In Raising Our Athletic Daughters: How Sports Can Build Self-Esteem And Save Girls’ Lives, authors Jean Zimmerman and Gil Reavill suggest utilizing coed or single-sex programs according to your daughter’s comfort level and what will contribute most to her learning and growth.

8. HELP HER USE “MISTAKES” PRODUCTIVELY. When she messes up, she’ll look to you first. So illustrate how to put mistakes in perspective by 1) showing her how to let go of them & 2) encouraging (not demanding or requiring) her to use mistakes as motivation to improve her skills.

9. MAKE SURE GIRLS & BOYS HAVE EQUAL SPORTS OPPORTUNITIES. Support Title IX and encourage school and other sports programs to be aware of and promptly address inequities in opportunities and resources.

10. KEEP A RELAXED, FUN APPROACH. Team sports teach girls how to be self-reliant while also working collaboratively to be competitive. If she loses interest in sports, you and she can still be physically active together–and there are plenty of other ways to relate and have fun as a Dad-Daughter team.

Learn more about healthy fathering  at http://www.thedadman.com/

Kelly presents 1Joe Kelly’s “The Dad Factor” workshops and in-service trainings show organizations and institutions how to accomplish more (and accomplish it faster) by mining the untapped natural resource of fathers and stepfathers. Interactive, hands-on sessions teach professionals how to overcome hurdles that inhibit father engagement, assess their own “father-friendliness,” and implement proven strategies to get dads to help you get your work done more efficiently.

Thomas & Friends™: Hop On Board Songs And Stories Arriving June 16

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
Life on the Island of Sodor is extremely busy for the engines. While Thomas and his friends are hard at work, they like to listen to music and sing-along. Now you can join in on all the fun with this DVD collection of Thomas & Friends songs and episodes, including a bonus music CD featuring 5 songs: “The Roll Call Song,” “Let’s Have a Race,” “Toby,” “The Island Song” and “He’s a Really Useful Engine.”

Follow the bouncing steam cloud to read the words and sing along to Thomas’ Anthem, Let’s Have a Race, Gone Fishing and four other Island of Sodor favorites. You’ll also enjoy two classic Thomas & Friends episodes “Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady” and “Bulldog”, as well as a bonus sing-along, “It’s Great to Be an Engine.” Hop on board for toe-tappin’ fun with Thomas & Friends Sing-Along & Stories.

It’s a magical musical ride when Thomas and his engine friends travel the tracks on the Island of Sodor with the toe-tapping DVD+Bonus Music CD Set, Thomas & Friends™: Hop on Board Songs and Stories, steaming into stores June 16, 2009 from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment. The set is fully-loaded with fan favorites including 2 classic Thomas & Friends stories, 7 sing-alongs and a bonus music CD featuring 5 songs!

Teaching timeless life lessons of discovery, friendship and cooperation, the Thomas & Friends animated series invites children to enter a world of imagination through the tracks of a train and the words of a story.

Indie Filmmaking: 35 Tips From Experts

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Last weekend’s “Produced By” Conference, as reported by Nikki Finke, came up with some great tips for indie filmmakers. Among the top 10 things you should or should do were: change the title of your film to begin with a “A” to get higher placement on iTumes, experiment with new ways to market and promote your film, expect things to be tough cause we’re in tough economic times, back up your creative ideas with a solid budget and schedule, don’t expect foreign presales to bring in as much as in years past, producers with a successful track record will have an easier time than those who don’t, pay attention to genre and don’t get yourself into something so offbeat there’s no audience for it, get some name talent!, bank financing has dropped 66%, understand your audience from the get go.

For the full story, go to: http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/. Posted June 11, 2009.

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